We're just back from a long weekend in Palm Beach, FL, and suffice to say the dining is fine, even at casual places. Delicious new hot spots have popped up over the last few seasons; here are our picks of what’s new(ish) and worth it.
Though this spot has been open since 2011, head chef Clay Conley was recently a James Beard Award semifinalist, the only chef in Palm Beach to do so. Having enjoyed a fantastic dinner at Buccan, which has an eclectic menu of small, medium and large plates, it’s easy to understand the accolades. Shining stars were the veggie dishes—a zingy charred broccolini salad and an innovative take on eggplant parm—though, for meat lovers, several of the tables around us seemed to be enjoying the impressive-looking burger and fries. Top tip: Save room for the refined s’mores dessert, worth every calorie. Located two blocks off Worth Avenue, dress is smart and reservations are a must; call 561-833-3450 or book online.
Just over the bridge in the artsy El Cid area of West Palm Beach, Kitchen sits in an unassuming strip mall off Dixie Highway—but don’t let the location fool you, the food is top notch. Owned by husband-and-wife team, Matthew and Aliza Byrne, the vibe is laid back with two cozy dining areas and a private dining room for up to 65 people. Chef Matthew cut his teeth working in Philadelphia's top restaurants before being recruited by pro golfer Tiger Woods to be his personal chef. In 2013, he opened Kitchen with a menu of contemporary American cuisine using local and seasonal ingredients (think: crispy eggplant with burrata, ahi tuna with mango and avocado); we loved the specials—a wood-fired Branzino fillet and the grilled lamb chops. For dessert, expect American classics like strawberry shortcake and fruit cobbler, all made fresh in-house. It was completely full on the recent Monday night, so bookings are essential. Call 561-249-2281 or book online.
You’d never believe the pedigree of the husband and wife team, Jeremy and Cindy Bearman, behind this tiny restaurant in Lantana—but both worked for Daniel Boulud, and Chef Jeremy later opened and earned a Michelin star as executive chef at New York’s Rouge Tomate for six consecutive years, while Cindy went on to be a recipe developer and food stylist for the Today Show and Martha Stewart Living. Unsurprisingly, the food at Oceano looks and tastes equally amazing. The menu changes daily depending on the market; we loved roasted carrot salad and the whole poussin, served spatchcocked and deep fried—literally the crispiest, most delicious fried chicken ever. Portions are generous, so, unfortunately, we were too full for dessert but will definitely go back on our next visit to Palm Beach. Bookings is only available for parties of six or more; otherwise, it's walk-ins only, but this is food you are happy to wait for—especially if you sample the well-crafted wine list. Dress is very casual, seating is at the bar or on a covered porch. Insider’s tip: Jeremy and Cindy have just opened their second restaurant, High Dive, focused on ethically and locally sourced seafood on the newly rebranded Rosemary Square (formerly City Place, near the Palm Beach Convention Center and Kravis Arts Center). The timing didn’t work for us to try it, but based on our experience at Oceano, we have high expectations and you can make bookings!
From the food and beverage team at The Breakers, opening soon (we hear April or May) will be Henry’s Palm Beach, located off-property but nearby on Royal Poinciana Way, at Via Flagler by The Breakers, a new al fresco plaza that will include a curated collection of boutiques, eateries and residences. Henry’s menu will feature “elevated comfort food with a hint of nostalgia” and will be open daily for lunch, happy hour, dinner, late-night cocktails and weekend brunch. For the interior, The Breakers has enlisted longtime collaborator and celebrated hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, and we cannot wait!